I can tell Starbynary takes after the gamut of classic progressive metal bands-influences from Dream Theater, Symphony X, and Fates Warning are clear as day. The main difference between Starbynary and other bands rehashing what the forefathers before them created is that the riffs and surrounding musical components actually dare to be varied and profound. There are all sorts of expected riffing patterns and styles this kind of thing attracts, including stop-start sequences of modern prog and more up-tempo chords found in power metal, especially reminiscent of Symphony X. The difference is that these riffs are matched by a fill-heavy percussion setting and enough keyboard and guitar solos and alterations among the pile to spice things up, keep things interesting.
It's almost difficult to pinpoint what exactly Starbynary does better than their second-rate cohorts; there is certainly more instrumental drive than the directionless, cheese-filled course of the norm. The guitar sequences à la Symphony X's older albums are driving and poignant, crowned by varied keyboard work adding atmosphere and dazzling lines to Starbynary's poise. Vocals tend to be the chink in the armor of these power/progressive metal bands; "Dark Passenger" doesn't avoid this, sadly. Not to imply the singing is utter garbage, but the light tenor doesn't do much against the surrounding intensity and darker themes. But the tracks are fulfilling, held together by Starbynary's above-average songwriting and having the fundamentals of progressive metal nailed down.
The seventeen-minute "The End Begins" has enough bravado and aplomb to support its length, though it seems to end somewhat abruptly, ironically. It is otherwise such a winding, corkscrewing song paced so diligently and with the proper care that its sudden conclusion is just a petty complaint. Long story short, the pitfalls most of these bands fail to see are hopped over gracefully by Starbynary's detailed songwriting, getting a significant boost from complex musical arrangements of a high order. There is plenty of creative room for the group to explore, and thankfully "Dark Passenger" ends up having the ability to enthrall through the snaking corridors of poignant progressive metal focused around the mind of a killer.
Starbynary - Dark Passenger
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